After a couple of weeks off, the match reports have returned. Sorry to everyone and especially Emma but I thought it would be appropriate to have a break, after the situation that occurred during our last league game.
After that depressing first paragraph, the girls are back in full force to face Shine Saints. Going into the game the girls are still unbeaten with 4 wins and 2 draws, and ready to show the leaders that they will not let them run away with it. We have already played Shine earlier this season and won 9-0. This didn’t make the girls think it will be an easy game because no match is easy. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Tianna through illness and Grace. Hopefully, they will both be back for our next league game!
The tactics for this game was to give the defence a little bit more of a challenge. We started with Abbie in goal as usual not much I can say about our skipper that I haven’t said before always putting on the effort, consistent and always pushing the team. Immy and Eleanor in defence. Cannot say anything more about those 2, always looking to keep a clean sheet and protecting the goal. In midfield we had Bonnie on the right side to keep the width and same with Rosie on the left, Anna in central midfield to shield the defence and not allow Shine into our half and to rotate the ball and win possession back. We then had a front 3 of Zoe on the right wing, like Mo Salah to show off her lightning pace, Sophie on the left wing for her silky skills and to cut inside to shoot. Lastly, we had Mila leading the line on her league debut, but it didn’t faze her at all. The week before she played in a friendly against St Nicks and bagged 5 goals! She is quick, not afraid of a challenge and ruthless in front of goal. Finally, as our impact players, we had Poppy, Evie, and Lois. With impact players like that it’s like the Galactico’s at Real Madrid.
We played some good football. As everyone can see the goals at the bottom it was a one-sided game pretty much. I definitely cannot remember every single goal, but I will go through phases of the game and through the memorable goals. First half the girls were getting back into the rhythm after having a week off. The cold and wet weather didn’t help, coupled with the pitch already being absolutely hammered by the U11’s beforehand. Mila opened the scoring, with an absolute rocket and I felt sorry for the Shine keeper as it was high, and I don’t think even Mary Earp’s could have saved it Another memorable goal from Mila was she got the ball in a foot race against the Shine defenders and she breezed past and slotted it into the back of the net. After about 15 minutes we had all 3 impact players come on and what an impact they made. Lois came on and showed that if you don’t shoot you don’t score! Ball was in the box and Shine failed to clear and the ball fell to Lois and that’s all she needed, next thing you know the ball was in the back of the net. This gave her the confidence to bag 2 more goals later in the game. Evie also came on and showed her quality, creating chances, amazing crosses into the box, dribbling past many of the opponents and finishing off any chance near the goal. She bagged herself 2 goals, she is consistent and you can always rely on Evie to get a goal or create one. We saw Anna move from central midfield to the right midfield position where she can express her attacking ability and her lighting speed. Didn’t take her long to receive the ball and run down the line towards the goal and strike the ball and it hit the underside of the bar and straight in. Again, felt sorry for the Shine keeper there was nothing that could be done about that goal. This brings me back to summer when Anna was practising so hard on her shooting and it amazing to see all the girls improve!
We went into the second half 3-0 up. The girls knew they could get more. Zoe was hungry for a couple of goals. She had a chance after being slipped through a brilliant pass from Poppy. Unfortunately, Zoe didn’t get the desired connection and she was really disappointed as she always pushes herself and has high standards, but I thought Darwin Nunez was on the pitch instead of Zoe! Just joking Zoe!! (I am definitely going to get a ball to the face on Sunday from Zoe after that reference). Like me and Tom said on the side line, another opportunity will come and after a couple of minutes the ball was rolled across the box and Zoe calmly finishes it off and went to score another after! What can I say about Poppy, she had an amazing game against St Nicks last week and took that into this game. Came on and contributed with a goal for her team and steps up every week. She also had a spell in defence which was a different position for her, it was good to challenge her especially in a game like this where there is less pressure. We put Immy in a more advance position and it didn’t take her long to get the ball and sprint down the line towards the box. She was contemplating crossing it in but deep down she wanted that goal and as she was getting closer and closer, but there was no one in the middle to receive the tap in, so Immy just fired
it into the goal! She went on and scored again, she deserves it, another consistent player for the team. Never afraid and always puts in 100% of effort. Finally, the last goal went to our skipper. She didn’t have much to do during the game, she had a few touches but was comfortable during the whole match. Evie politely offered to go in goal so Abbie can come out. Nobody knows what position Abbie was playing, but she was in a blue bib and next thing had the ball and rocketed one in the back of the net. Great finish and just ruthless, nice to see the skipper getting on the scoresheet! She can do it at both ends, don’t think Earps could do that…
After all of that, Star Player was a hard one as everyone played well. There was so many goals and good team and individual moments. We both thought Poppy deserved Star Player as when she was on the field, she kept her discipline and played as it was 0-0 the whole game. Always looking for the pass and looking to create chances for her team. We also have a new award which is Parents Star Player! It will be on Spond and will be available to all parents to vote every game day. This week’s Parents Star Player went to Sophie! The first receiver of this award. Great achievement even though she didn’t get a goal, always kept trying and making so many runs. Her skills to get past players, always trying to play the ball and looking for the cross to create chances.
We have a friendly against Portishead this coming Sunday which will be a huge test for the girls as they are in the league above. Last meeting, we had with them was in the end of last season where we drew 2-2 but we should’ve won looking back. The week after we are back in the league against Bradley Stoke!
Poppy – Star Player
Sophie – Parents Star Player
Lois (Hattrick Hero)
Written by Jamil Khan (U12 coach)